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Del Ficke and Graham Christensen join me today to discuss the practice of Regenerative Agriculture and what they have done to implement it in their farms. They share how they learned about regenerative practices and their success stories and explain why this type of practice is based on what’s already been done before, but long forgotten due to mass production. They also share examples of how regenerative ag can benefit farmers financially.
Ecologically-based farming systems contain far fewer pests and generate much higher profits than their conventional, chemical-based counterparts according to research published in the journal PeerJ earlier this year by scientists at South Dakota State University and the Ecdysis Foundation. The study supports calls to reshape the future of agriculture, as ‘regenerative’ farms, which avoid tillage and bare soil, integrate livestock, and foster on-farm diversity.
This report evaluates the relative effects of regenerative and conventional corn production systems on pest management services, soil conservation, and farmer profitability and productivity throughout the Northern Plains of the United States. Regenerative farming systems provided greater ecosystem services and profitability for farmers than an input-intensive model of corn production.
Started by the Farmers Guild in California, the Soil Your Undies Challenge is a test designed to show the power and importance of healthy soil. The Challenge is easy: Simply bury a pair of 100 percent cotton underwear—generally white briefs have been the garment of choice—in your farm, garden, or pasture. Two months later, dig them up and inspect and document the changes.
Environmental scientists found that California grasslands are better at storing carbon from the atmosphere than fire-prone trees and forests, which have transitioned from carbon sinks (reserves) to carbon generators. Researchers said their discovery could help shape similar carbon offset programs around the world, particularly those in semi-arid environments, which cover about 40 percent of the planet.
The world-renowned Andre Leu gave a fascinating insight recently in his presentation on regenerative agriculture to a group of local farmers at Hallora. The Gazette’s Russell Bennett headed along to soak in as much as he could about, among a range of topics, where most farming starts – the soil.
Main Street Project Hosts Carbon Farmers and Ranchers to Share Midwest Regenerative Agriculture Model
Each year, Northfield-based Main Street Project has made strides in its goals to develop community-based, regenerative, sustainable agriculture in and around Northfield. It’s made enough progress now to be an example for others. At the end of June, a few dozen people from all across the Midwest made their way to Northfield to see and learn […]
Farmer-managed natural regeneration (FMNR) is the encouragement of regeneration and then the management of trees and shrubs that sprout from tree stumps, roots and seeds found in degraded soils, such as those currently in agricultural production. Trees and crops grown in combination like this is called agroforestry and provides multiple benefits to farmers, crops, climate, and wildlife.
Systematically grazing large herds of livestock for defined periods of time across the land creates the necessary conditions for grasses to grow again, Allan Savory argues. In turn, restored grasslands have the potential to sequester enough carbon to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from the animals—and perhaps more. Savory’s theory flies in the face of the contemporary understanding of overgrazing, ecological restoration of grasslands, and climate change.
India is the largest producer of cotton and the crop is of significant importance to the economy. Closely woven into the cotton story is the fate of over 6 million small and marginal farmers who plant this crop annually. However, today, India has reached a point of inflection. The so-called successes of past decades heralded by the hasty adoption of transgenic Bt technology are being eclipsed by the recurrence of pest attacks, worsened by unsustainable land and water use.
Investing in sustainable land management and practices such as restoring degraded land can recover soil health and enhance soil functions and land productivity to provide critical ecological and economic benefits for human needs. We suggest investing in critical linkages that are closely linked to several problems.
Paul Hawken discusses the difference between climate change and global warming and how our food choices impact the environment, before sharing innovative solutions to tackling some of our world’s biggest problems.
Climate change scientists recognize that healthy soil plays an essential role in sequestering carbon. Adopting regenerative agricultural practices across the globe could sequester global annual greenhouse gas emissions.
In an effort to reverse the trend of leaving the Outback and help repair the landscape, the Western Australian government in April began allowing a new line of business—carbon farming—on lands once reserved for grazing.
Soil biodiversity and soil organic carbon are an important foundation of a broad range of ecosystem services across all four standard ecosystem service categories. Governments should aim at protecting and promoting the multi-functionality of land to ensure that land users employ sustainable approaches that are measured against the delivery of multiple goods and services.
Climate change will increase the risk of simultaneous crop failures across the world’s biggest corn-growing regions and lead to less of the nutritionally critical vegetables that health experts say people aren’t getting enough of already, scientists warn.
Recently, more than 40 farmers and ranchers from across the Midwest – Iowa, Indiana to Kansas, traveled to this century farm to learn about the regenerative practices Scott and Barb Gonnerman have implemented to ensure their land carries on for the next 100 years and more.
A new “carbon removal marketplace” hopes to make it easier for consumers and businesses to directly support farmers who want to shift to climate-friendly practices. It will also later connect consumers to other types of carbon offsets, such as those from tree-planting projects. Called Nori, the new platform, which will launch by the end of the year, will use blockchain to streamline the process of buying and selling offsets.
The 2018 Drawdown INNOVATE program supported members in developing original ventures that impacted climate change, and incubated the best ones, moving us all to a better climate future. Program participants developed ideas that sought to maximize the impact of Project Drawdown’s 100 most substantive solutions to reverse global warming, which range from the impact of educating women and girls to energy, among others.
Carbon farming is based on the principle that plants take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere during photosynthesis. While much of that carbon stays in the plants themselves, some of it also travels into the soil. And when plants die, more carbon is added to the ground as organic material. The idea is that some agricultural practices—like planting cover crops instead of leaving soil exposed, using compost instead of synthetic chemicals, and planting a diversity of crops instead of a monoculture—can help to keep more carbon out of the atmosphere than their alternatives.
Regeneration Guatemala’s mission is to rebuild the deteriorated social, ecological and economic systems in Guatemala by transforming the agricultural landscape through regenerative agriculture and land-use practices, with a focus on Poultry-Centered Regenerative system design.
Communities that stand to lose the most from climate change are also becoming leaders in the climate resistance. From the farms of Puerto Rico to the tar sands of Canada, from the streets of Los Angeles to Kentucky’s coal country, communities are coming together to fight for a just transition to a greener and more equitable economy.
Transforming Food and Agriculture to Achieve the SDGs – 20 Interconnected Actions to Guide Decision-Makers
To help policy makers and other development actors accelerate progress towards global promises to end poverty and hunger, FAO has released a set of 20 inter-connected actions designed to show the impact sustainable agriculture can have on tackling the world’s greatest challenges.
Wool, an often-overlooked agricultural commodity, has also opened a number of unexpected doors for Bare Ranch. In fact, their small yarn and wool business has allowed Lani and John Estill to begin “carbon farming,” or considering how and where their land can pull more carbon from the atmosphere and put it into the soil in an effort to mitigate climate change. And in a rural part of the state where talk of climate change can cause many a raised eyebrow, such a shift is pretty remarkable.
Carbon ranching is coming to Santa Barbara, but farmers aren’t growing carbon — they’re putting it back into the ground. With the help of compost and cattle, native grasses can sequester organic carbon, enriching the soil and removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Beef producers face criticism for their product’s impact on the environment—from land degradation to high greenhouse gas emissions caused by manure storage, feed production, and even the way cattle digest food. Through her startup PastureMap, entrepreneur Christine Su hopes to improve those practices while helping ranchers increase their bottom line.
Climate change will impact agriculture and food supplies. That’s why this digital classroom is teaching food literacy. Author: Angela Fichter | Published: June 5, 2018 Almost 800 million people are currently facing chronic hunger, and we waste one-third of all the food we produce. Americans are eating nearly a quarter more than they did in 1970, but we’re not just eating more […]
Colleen Fulton won a gold medal in the Public Speaking Competition at both the Nebraska District FFA and State FFA Convention competitions this year. Her speech was entitled, “Regenerative Agriculture.” However, long before Colleen achieved these awards, her father Kevin Fulton, a farmer and rancher near Litchfield, Neb., went on a journey through agriculture that led him to change to the regenerative approach that has had a lasting impact on all his children.
Some organizations propose using blockchain, the technology that makes cryptocurrency like Bitcoin possible, to power a regenerative agricultural revolution. The ultimate goal is to reverse the flow of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere until atmospheric levels fall to a degree that scientists agree will stabilize the climate.
Across the nation, the first wave of a political movement rooted in agriculture’s role as a climate solution is gathering momentum. Unseen by most city dwellers and suburbanites, a carbon farming revolution is sweeping over the land. Driven by a mix of economic and ecological reasons, a growing number of farmers and ranchers are adopting practices to draw down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, where it overheats the planet, into soil, where it boosts fertility.
The Cherangani people of Kenya were for generations reliant on the forest for hunting, gathering and agroforestry—a way of life that was curtailed by the colonial government. Today, Cherangani communities living on the edge of the forest have returned to their traditions, intercropping avocado, bean and coffee plants among trees that help reduce water runoff and soil erosion, and improve nutrient cycling.
Silvopasture systems combine trees, livestock (ruminants like cattle, sheep and goats) and grazing. Ranchers and pastoralists plant trees or manage the land for spontaneous tree growth. The trees provide shade, timber and food for livestock.
How the future plays out depends on how well the industry understands, respects and regenerates soils. Healthy biosystems across the world’s farmland provide stable hydrology, weather, economy and communities. But the current picture of feeding a swelling population with limited resources isn’t rosy.
Buying and eating apples seems a pretty healthy thing to do. But a new study has found that every 1 kilo (2.2 pounds) of conventionally grown apples creates health effects costing 21 cents due to the effects of pesticides and fungicides, resulting in sick leave and eventually shorter life expectancies.
A study published in the journal Advances in Agronomy released findings about the powerful role that organic soil may play in combating climate change.
Jen and Brooks White, along with their children, Sawyer, left, 7, and Piper, 4, run a mixed farm with 600 head of bison and 5,000 acres of annual crops. The Whites grow a diverse rotation of crops, raise bison and aim to reduce inputs as much as possible.
Portland, Oregon based crowdfunding platform, Grow Ahead, has announced the 2018 winners of their Agroecology and Regenerative Organic Agriculture Scholarship. The Agroecology and Regenerative Organic Agriculture scholarship provides women farmers from Africa, Asia, or Latin America with the opportunity to gain further knowledge and experiences to support their farming communities through climate-resilient agroecology projects.
It’s not the cow or the sow, but the how. I hate to break it to all the conscientious consumers who have bought into the idea that completely avoiding meat is the answer to our planet’s environmental woes, but they’ve been misled. Such a message, while well-intentioned, misses the mark. Animals are not the problem; the problem is how they are managed.
Instead of maximizing yields, Gail Fuller made the decision to base his profitability and success on the health of his soil. “Soil is life and life is soil,” he said to a crowd at his annual Fuller Field School in Emporia last month. “We have 60 years of topsoil left and that was as of 2012. If we continue this current production model, we might not be able to feed the world by 2050 because we might not have all the soil left to do it.”
While some question the efficacy of carbon farming, regenerative agriculture practices overall contribute to healthier ecosystems–and are practices that any backyard gardener can adopt. Regenerative agriculture essentially combines the principles of organic farming with an overarching goal of enhanced carbon drawdown.
Joe Swanson realized the erosion issues on his Kansas farm would continue if he kept tilling. “I said, that is it. We’ve been no-till ever since.” On a May morning, Swanson stood in that same field that converted him 26 years ago, talking to a group of farmers during a No-Till on the Plains field day. His mission is to eliminate erosion and rebuild soil health. The journey, he said, hasn’t been easy. But Swanson sees changes across his fields. He uses fewer inputs. His soils are healthier.
Investor and carbon farmer Sallie Calhoun is on a mission: to change our relationship to the earth beneath our feet.
Transitioning to more sustainable forms of agriculture remains critical, as many current agriculture practices have serious consequences including deforestation and soil degradation. But despite agriculture’s enormous potential to hurt the environment, it also has enormous potential to heal it. Realizing this, many organizations are promoting regenerative agriculture as a way to not just grow food but to progressively improve ecosystems.
Soil is filled with living, breathing, hardworking creatures – it’s a natural commodity more important than any cash crop. When soil is alive, it’s teaming with macro- and microorganisms, ranging the gamut from highly visible beetles and worms to microscopic viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Each of these soil citizens provides a service to the healthful functioning of the broader community.
Biochar technology shows promise in mitigating climate change and improving soil quality, as well as reducing waste and producing energy as a byproduct. But what exactly is biochar and what is it made of?
João Pedro David’s vision for his Sítio Travessia farm is systemic and soil-focused—the ground here is always covered with mulch and organic material. And so it makes sense that it carries the look of a forest, which, after all, is really just an organic system of constant, dynamic soil-enrichment, with each species in an ecosystem contributing to the health of the whole.
In a grand experiment, California switched on a fleet of high-tech greenhouse gas removal machines last month. Funded by the state’s cap-and-trade program, they’re designed to reverse climate change by sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. These wonderfully complex machines are more high-tech than anything humans have designed. They’re called plants.
Agroecology represents a solution to the interconnected crises of our time, not only in the agricultural sector, but also in the economic and social spheres. For over thirty years Navdanya, together with other civil society organizations from all over the world, has been promoting a regenerating and ecologic circular approach to contrast the rising environmental degradation, poverty, sanitary emergencies and malnutrition.
The Lenca indigenous group in a dry region of Honduras has practiced agroforestry for millennia. Recently a group of women formed a cooperative to market their coffee grown in the shade of these trees as organic and fair trade, and they have enjoyed a sizable price increase. The Lencas’ agroforestry system also provides fruit and timber products that are ready for sale or trade during times of the year when the coffee crop is not ripe.
“This Farm is Medicine,” about Murray Provine, a businessman who turned to progressive farming after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, is another thought-provoking chapter in director Peter Byck’s “Soil Carbon Cowboys” documentary series, which is breaking new ground, getting the word out about the regenerative farm movement.
Building resilience in healthy and restored soils is essential to help them retain functions in a world of global environmental change.
Curiosity about regenerative agriculture is growing and a field day drew an audience of more than 150 people to the Clinton Community Hall in South Otago this week. The attraction was an address by Australian soil scientist Dr Christine Jones, whose research on restoring soil health has proven controversial among New Zealand soil scientists.
After decades of a slow build, the regenerative agriculture movement is finally taking off, thanks in part to the Savory Institute, which has launched the Land to Market verification program, which is designed to help stakeholders not just sustain the environment, but also improve it.
Probably no other plant has played such a vital role in the ecologies and human populations of the regions of Mexico and the US, as the multifunctional mesquite tree. This extremely resilient and adaptable tree has a rich ethnobotanical history and holds great potential to become a major staple food crop for drylands throughout the world, while supporting climate change mitigation efforts and providing food security in the face of desertification, water stress, and climatic instability.
Yale Environment 360 ran an article on the use of gene editing, including the controversial RNA Interference (RNAi) technology, to develop biodegradable “vaccines” intended to protect crops from pathogens. Regeneration International founding member Judith Schwartz raised concerns about the article in this letter to the editors of Yale Environment 360.
What if there were one solution that could fix a lot of the world’s problems? That’s how organic farmer Ben Dobson began his TEDxHudson talk a few years ago. “Appropriate organic farming techniques and properly planned grazing can reverse climate change,” Dobson told his audience.
Regenerative systems strive not only to do no harm, but also to improve their social, environmental, and economic contexts. In other words, they leave behind a better world. Seeking out individuals and projects that are doing regenerative work worldwide is the priority of the Lush Spring Prize, a joint effort between Lush Cosmetics and Ethical Consumer, a UK-based non-profit that researches how consumer power can generate positive impact for society and the environment.
The European Union will ban the world’s most widely used insecticides from all fields due to the serious danger they pose to bees. The ban on neonicotinoids, approved by member nations on Friday, is expected to come into force by the end of 2018 and will mean they can only be used in closed greenhouses.
The current poultry-production system has failed ecologically, economically and socially. Our Poultry-Centered Regenerative System Standard fully integrates the environment for the chicken, the social foundation for the system deployment and the economics of farming and food industry management. Starting with nature’s blueprint, we weave the economic and social together to build a framework that delivers an integrated standard.
From Alaska to Australia, scientists are turning to the knowledge of traditional people for a deeper understanding of the natural world. What they are learning is helping them discover more about everything from melting Arctic ice, to protecting fish stocks, to controlling wildfires.
Are you a good steward of your land? Would you like to see that effort recognized in the market? The Savory Institute is in the process of on-boarding producers in a pilot project to do just that. The “Land to Market” verification program is an attempt to market management practices that improve the landscape.
Regenerative agriculture draws from millennia of traditional agricultural practices from around the world as well as over a century of applied research and development within the fields of organic farming, agroecology, agroforestry, permaculture, biodynamic agriculture, natural farming, keyline design, restoration ecology and holistic management.
A recent New York Times Magazine article, “Can Dirt Save the Earth?,” examines the practicality of regenerative agriculture. The piece begins with John Wick after he bought a ranch in Marin County, Calif., and began a quest to learn how to sequester carbon in the soil.
The scale of economic growth in China during the past three decades is unprecedented in modern human history. However, this fast economic growth puts China’s environment under increasing stresses. This special feature explores the impacts of climate change and human activities on the structure and functioning of ecosystems, with emphasis on quantifying the magnitude and distribution of carbon (C) pools and C sequestration in China’s terrestrial ecosystems.
Despite the benefits of careful grazing, the question remains: Can cattle be raised, fed, and slaughtered in a way that reduces their greenhouse gas emissions to a tolerable level?
Interest in carbon farming is blossoming throughout the U.S. and many local farmers, land owners and land managers are already using carbon farming techniques. Boulder County and the City commissioned the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory (NREL) of Colorado State University to conduct a feasibility study. They wanted to assess the potential for a large-scale carbon farming project in Boulder, similar to the Marin Carbon Project.
“I wish we had as much energy around a regenerative, climate-smart Farm Bill as we did around the marketing of regenerative, because now is the time to craft a Farm Bill that could actually improve climate and the quality of our farming,” says Clif Bar’s director of agriculture.
Soil carbon sequestration plays an important role in mitigating anthropogenic increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Recent studies have shown that biodiversity increases soil organic carbon (SOC) storage in experimental grasslands. However, the effects of species diversity on SOC storage in natural ecosystems have rarely been studied, and the potential mechanisms are yet to be understood. The results presented here show that favorable climate conditions, particularly high precipitation, tend to increase both species richness and belowground biomass, which had a consistent positive effect on SOC storage in forests, shrublands, and grasslands.
Beyond Organic: How Brands Can Be Active Players in Restoring Soil Health and Climate Change Mitigation
To boost sustainability, natural foods brands and retailers have focused on reducing energy consumption, using recycled and recyclable materials—but what about farms and soil? A partnership between small farmers and Annie’s has demonstrated what supply chain relationships could look like in a more sustainable, soil-friendly future.
Regenerative agriculture is not exactly a buzz word quite yet, but it is certainly one to watch, and Dr. Bronner’s, known for its natural soaps, is now playing a big part in raising the profile of this vital movement.
Agroecological farming can actually mitigate and reduce the risks, vulnerability and impacts of a changing climate. With this contradiction in mind, it is clear that to confront Climate Change rather than just react to it, we need to nurture strong farmer networks, adapt the way we farm to reduce impacts on the environment, and make our farms and farmers more climate resilient. MESA is proud to offer an online course to help you build the tools to do just that.
Ben Gotschall and his family aim to ensure their dairy farm operates in a way that’s cohesive with the natural order of things. That means their farm near Raymond may look a little more rustic or a bit more wild than larger-scale operations. A few more species of grasses popping up in the pastures, conservation corridors that maintain biodiversity and grazing practices that mimic the state of nature rather than the industrial efficiency of larger farms.
In American farm country, a grass-roots movement is spreading, a movement to keep more roots in the soil. (Not just grass roots, of course; roots of all kinds.) Its goal: Promoting healthy soil that’s full of life.
Pulverizing volcanic rock and spreading the dust like fertilizer on farm soils could suck billions of tons of carbon from the atmosphere and boost crop yields on a warming planet with a growing population.
A range of advocates for what’s called regenerative agriculture convened in a U.S. House of Representatives hearing room Monday to talk about ways the upcoming farm bill might change farm programs and how they might join together to change the way Congress supports farmers.
In response to the decision of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to certify hydroponic crops and sanction “taking the soil out of organics” (Many individuals consider this to be the demise of the organic standard) scientists, consumers, farmers and those concerned about protecting the future of organics, are taking a visionary approach. They see the future of organics in regenerative agriculture.
A new study from Michigan has boosted the case for adaptive multi-paddock grazing with data showing less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from grass-finishing cattle than from feedlot finishing.
A new watercourse is playing havoc with farmland and roads and even threatening a city – but also highlights the potential cost of the country’s dependence on soya beans
We Know How Food Production Needs to Change If Crisis Is to Be Avoided – So Why Isn’t This Happening?
As the world races toward a projected 9 billion inhabitants, the failings of dominant food systems are impossible to deny. Current food production methods are severely polluting, are a cause of malnutrition, inequitable, and unjustifiably wasteful. And they are concentrated in the hands of few corporations. Entangled in the multiple crises humanity is facing, establishing global food security is considered a key challenge of our time.
RegeNErate Nebraska is a community of Nebraskans who are bucking the system, in favor of the solution which lies in the soil. The group in Fremont, Nebraska, aims to grow a community of consumers, local farmers, tribal members and other groups who will collaborate on how to localize control over how food is produced and distributed in Nebraska.
Little work has focused on the relative costs and benefits of novel regenerative farming operations, which necessitates studying in situ, farmer-defined best management practices. Here, we evaluate the relative effects of regenerative and conventional corn production systems on pest management services, soil conservation, and farmer profitability and productivity throughout the Northern Plains of the United States.
Food Tank had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Kristine Nichols of the Rodale Institute about how soil microbes affect agriculture and about some of the trials the Rodale Institute are conducting.
Land degradation is undermining the wellbeing of two-fifths of humanity, raising the risks of migration and conflict, according to the most comprehensive global assessment of the problem to date.
Regenerative Farming Trailblazers: How Reintegrating Livestock and Restoring Soils Can Lead to More Resilient Farms
Faced with growing pressures, some farmers are exploring their options, including testing regenerative farming practices that can rebuild soil health, conserve water, improve water quality, and more. For example, farmers are diversifying their crops and animals, implementing more complex crop rotations, and protecting soil year-round by using cover crops. Such changes come with both challenges and opportunities.
Lack of creativity is not among the barriers to investment in integrated landscape management, test of new Landscape Investment and Finance Tool in the Philippines shows.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says giving women the same access as men to agricultural resources could increase production on women’s farms in less developed countries by 20 to 30 percent. This could raise total agricultural production in underdeveloped countries by 2.5 to 4 percent and alleviate the hunger of 100 to 150 million people. One-third of our participant families are headed by females.
With the demand for organic food growing throughout the country, a group of Nebraska farmers, ranchers, and community organizations are focused on increasing access to, and production of, those foods by promoting regenerative agriculture practices throughout the state.
The Community Food & Water and Farm Bill addresses the enduring challenges of climate resiliency by empowering communities and farmers with a comprehensive set of economic tools to establish successful, locally -adapted food and water economies designed to depend on healthy ecosystems to sustain life and cool the planet.
For the second time in 143 years, Pawnee people are returning to the land of their ancestors where today their native corn has come back to life in a new way. Pawnee corn has been growing and is now again thriving in the Nebraska after 15 years of work by both past and present Nebraskans.
Agriculture is Michigan’s second largest industry, making it a major contributor to the state’s economy. Agriculture also contributes significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions, roughly 25 percent according the USDA. Thankfully, agriculture can also be a major part of the solution.
What I witnessed at Climate Day 2018 at Expo West two weeks ago filled me with inspiration and hope — two emotions that are not always easy to come by for those of us working on climate change. The natural products industry is building a climate change movement and has no intention of staying quiet about it.
Producers have a responsibility to reverse past mistakes made in agriculture, according to Grain SA conservation agriculture (CA) facilitator, Dr Hendrik Smith. Speaking at the recent Landbouweekblad Regenerative Agriculture Conference in Reitz in the Free State, Smith said agriculture historically played a large role in issues such as climate change, and was only surpassed by fossil fuel production as the largest producer of greenhouse gasses in the 1960s.
The word “sustainable” doesn’t pack much punch any longer. Whether through overuse or greenwashing, it seems to have joined the same ranks as “eco” and “natural,” terms that essentially mean everything and nothing at once. Employed as it so often is—to blithely extoll corporate greening efforts and lifestyle products—some feel the word runs the risk of obscuring more than it reveals.
Will Harris, a good ol’ boy Georgia rancher, may well be our nation’s best bet for a better, more sustainable future. He’s the subject of a documentary by Peter Byck, “One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts.”
In a study by the Organic Produce Network and Nielsen, it was shown that sales of organic fresh produce items reached almost $5 billion in 2017, an 8% increase from the previous year. In fact, a bill was recently passed to increase the funding of organic farming research to meet this growing demand.
Rainfall over 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa has been dismal. The city is experiencing the worst drought in over a century, and the city has about 10% of its usual water capacity available. The water is estimated to last the city until mid-July, with strict usage regulations already in place.
Regenerative Agriculture has become a cinderella-story at Expo West, originally being something that those furthest on the fringe met to discuss hoping to one day have a larger voice, to now present day where it is openly acknowledged as one of the top trends in the natural foods industry.
Australian social entrepreneur Jane Milburn, founder of Textile Beat, has spent five years studying the need to transform a culture of excess to a more thoughtful and engaged approach. She believes slow clothing is the antidote to fast fashion. In her new book, Slow Clothing: finding meaning in what we wear, Jane presents a compelling case for wearers to change the way we dress so that we can live lightly on Earth.
When cattle congregate, they’re often cast as the poster animals for overgrazing, water pollution and an unsustainable industry. While some of the criticism is warranted, cattle production — even allowing herds to roam through grasslands and orchards — can be beneficial to the environment as well as sustainable.
In this paper, we assess whether or not organic agriculture has a positive impact on local economies. We first identify organic agriculture hotspots (clusters of counties with positively correlated high numbers of organic operations) using spatial statistics. Then, we estimate a treatment effects model that classifies a county’s membership in an organic hotspot as an endogenous treatment variable.
RASA and soil activist Erik van Lennep are launching a podcast series, Designers of Paradise, bringing you into conversations with people changing how we produce our food, care for our soil and water, and protect our climate. These are the stories of the people dedicating their time and brilliance to reversing the impacts of our industrial food systems.
Nine students of Holistic Management (from as far abroad as Barraba, Willow Tree and Oberon) have spent two days setting up and learning to monitor the data the region’s first Environmental Outcomes Verification (EOV) monitoring site at Mudgee’s Robert Stein Winery.
Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan believes a WA carbon farming industry could be possible for the rangelands under existing pastoral lease legislation. Ms MacTiernan will meet legal experts tomorrow to “get a sense” of how a carbon industry could be developed on pastoral land without changes to the Land Administration Act.
Extreme weather events are going to be more frequent and longer lasting, and farmers will have to adapt, finding new forms of agricultural and agroforestry management.
Kernza is an intermediate wheatgrass developed by The Land Institute, a non-profit organization in Salina, Kas., and is shown to have a positive impact on soil health, carbon sequestration and water retention.
The upcoming agricultural bill to be published later this year will include a specific segment on soil health, and is likely to set a nationwide goal of restoring degraded soils across the country by 2030. The specifics of what that means are still being ironed out, but the bill is likely to include soil health targets for soil health for farmers, as well as incentives for soil-friendly practices like crop rotation, cover crops, and the planting of hedgerows, wind breaks and other natural guards against erosion.
The standard, called Regenerative Organic Certification, can apply to any product made with agricultural ingredients. It requires that farmers produce those ingredients via practices that follow rigorous criteria: Increase soil organic matter over time and sequester atmospheric carbon in that soil; improve animal welfare on farms; provide economic stability and fair labor conditions for workers; create environmentally and economically resilient production ecosystems and communities.
Founding brand partner of Land to Market™ program recognized for commitment to verified regenerative sourcing.
To generate effective, universal action that will solve the problem of climate change, the global community needs to abandon the “wussy” language of climate mitigation and rethink the “negative” sports and war metaphors that are pervasive in discussions about the issue.
A new organic certification programme has been launched in the US, aimed at improving fairness for farmers and workers, as well as addressing animal welfare and ecological land management. Launched at last week’s Natural Products Expo West show in California by the Regenerative Organic Alliance, the Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) is a holistic agriculture certification encompassing “robust, high-bar standards”.
“How can agriculture be sustainable if we tolerate a net loss of its foundational resource?” Coupled with the fact that our nation has lost an alarming amount of top soil in the past 100 years, shouldn’t we move beyond sustainable agriculture to regenerative agriculture, especially if it can be done profitably and productively?
Chris Kerston is the Market Engagement and Public Outreach at the Savory Institute. In this episode, Chris introduces us to Allan Savory and the work of the Savory Institute. Chris explains how desertification happens and what role sheep and wool play to reverse desertification. You also get to learn details about the Land to Market certification scheme Chris and his team are working on to build a regenerative supply chain.
Nathan Kleinman is co-founder of the Experimental Farm Network (EFN), an open-source seed company, with about 80 hardy varietals currently for sale on its website. More broadly, it’s a sustainable farming community with a mission to identify and breed carbon-sequestering perennials, relying for labor on a volunteer army of experienced and newbie agriculturists across the country.
Farmers around the world are turning to nature to help them reduce pesticide use, environmental impact and, subsequently, and in some cases, increasing yields.
Organic is not enough. Or that’s the thinking behind the new Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) that was officially launched at the Natural Products Expo West trade show last week. The Regenerative Organic Alliance, a coalition of organizations and businesses led by the Rodale Institute, Patagonia, and Dr. Bronner’s, have joined the seemingly unstoppable engine propelling sustainable agriculture beyond the term “organic,” or, as some believe, bringing it back to its original meaning.
Whether you call it global warming or climate change, the emotionally charged topic generally associated with greenhouse gases brings an array of reactions – from genuine concern to belief in a conspiracy. Earth’s average surface temperature has increased 1.3ºF. over the past century and is projected to increase by an additional 3.2ºF. to 7.2ºF. over the 21st century. It is happening at a faster rate than ever before.
A new Regenerative Organic Certification program launching this week at Expo West is a meaningful extension of the base USDA Organic certification rather than a symptom of the tensions within the movement, proponents say. However, some observers have taken a wait and see attitude about whether the idea has legs.
Last month, Regeneration International and our partner organizations hosted a meeting at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin, to gauge interest in forming a 12-state Regeneration Midwest Alliance in the heart of America’s “breadbasket.”
The Rodale Institute plans to unveil its new Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) at this week’s Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, California. ROC was developed by the Regenerative Organic Alliance, a coalition of organizations and businesses led by the Rodale Institute and spearheaded by brands like Patagonia and Dr. Bronner’s.
Backyard soils can lock in more planet-warming carbon emissions than soils found in native grasslands or urban forests like arboretums, according to Carly Ziter, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
I am part of a group of 12 people living in the village of Saleres, Valle de Lecrín, close to Granada in Spain. We are a diverse group from a variety of countries.What brings us together is a common willingness to co-create (and practice) a shared vision around three core values; integration, sustainability, regeneration.
Farming sustainably isn’t just good for the planet: if it’s done right it can double profits too, finds a new study published in PeerJ. But this requires a paradigm shift that champions crop diversity over monoculture, and quality over quantity–a way of growing food that’s known as ‘regenerative agriculture’.
As the makers of this video explain, “the path to healing our food and agriculture system is a path walked on by chickens.” That’s right. Main Street Project has developed a poultry-centered regenerative agriculture system that can change how food is produced around the world.
Our connection to nature is sacred, dating back to the beginning of our existence. It’s no wonder then that our health is intimately intertwined with the Earth—from the soil beneath our feet, to the food we eat, to the water we drink and to the air that fills our lungs. In other words, nature determines our health, upon which much of our wellbeing—and even our happiness—depends.
In our first episode of Designers of Paradise host Erik van Lennep talks with filmmaker and storyteller Peter Byck. Peter is associated with both the Schools of Sustainability and Journalism at Arizona State University. He released Carbon Nation in 2010 and has since produced a series of short documentaries exploring the impact of adaptive multi-paddock grazing on farms and ranches called Soil Carbon Cowboys.
Coral reefs make up less than one-quarter of 1 percent of the Earth’s surface, yet supply resources worth an estimated $375 billion annually. Biorock shows promise for restoring reefs; it starts with metal structures that are planted into the reef.
What if, before you purchased a hat or sweater, you knew the wool used to make it came from sheep raised on a ranch managed to improve soil health and increase soil carbon?
Impacts of Soil Carbon Sequestration on Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Midwestern USA Beef Finishing Systems
On-farm beef production and emissions data are combined with 4-year soil C analysis. Feedlot production produces lower emissions than adaptive multi-paddock grazing. Adaptive multi-paddock grazing can sequester large amounts of soil C. Emissions from the grazing system were offset completely by soil C sequestration. Soil C sequestration from well-managed grazing may help to mitigate climate change.
What if we could reverse global warming with just one methodological shift? Can the way we farm radically impact not just our output but also overwhelming wide-ranging concerns for our environment, hunger, and poverty? Ben Dobson has a unique, personal perspective on how we can make universal changes.
Sustainable often pops up in marketing to describe how products are made or packaged, and while consumers increasingly buy these products at a premium, some in the natural products industry fear the concept is becoming greenwashed while others say the term – even in its purest form – doesn’t go far enough.
The conversations to have, education sessions to attend and products to see at Natural Products Expo West to get the full view of this macro trend.
As the world begins to zero in on the need to bring this soil back to life, farmers practicing no-till in the middle of the country could play a key role. As they reshape their operations with a focus on things like earthworms and water filtration, and practice a suite of other approaches that fit loosely under the umbrella of “regenerative agriculture,” these farmers are stepping out of the ag mainstream.
Regenerative Agriculture (RA) describes farming and grazing practices that help reverse climate change by rebuilding the organic matter in soil and restoring degraded soil biodiversity.
After 25 years of experimenting with cover crop mixes and tillage practices, Gabe Brown has a simple message for those who would like to put their farms or ranches on a more sustainable path. “You have the ability to change your soils and your operation,” he told a crowd of more than 300 Thursday at a soil health workshop in Burley. “You can do it.”
Annapurna Library in Assam is one with a difference. Instead of books it stores seeds of traditional rice varieties. These traditional varieties have traits that can protect the farmers and people of Assam from the impact of climate change on food security. Assam has high vulnerability to climate change, so these seeds are of high significance.
According to Dr. David Montgomery, author and professor at the University of Washington who spoke to farmers during the 22nd Annual No-Till on the Plains Winter Conference, our soils around the world have been severely degraded due to conventional agricultural practices. In a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn, Montgomery says soil degradation has taken on two forms in modern times.
UN Environment will implement the largest natural resource development project in the history of The Gambia to help the West African nation tackle climate change impacts and restore degraded forests, farmland and coastal zones.
Think of agriculture of the future and you may conjure up images of hydroponic lettuces grown in underground, urban bunkers or massive-scale precision farming using satellites and drones. But for campaign group Farms of the Future, the future is, and can only be, agroecology.
A lot has been written about agroecology, and a new special issue of the journal Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems takes it to the next level. It expands the conversation by outlining recent progress in ecology relevant for tackling food system challenges ranging from disappearing diversity to water woes to climate catastrophes.
Jeff Moyer is the Executive Director of Rodale Institute, an independent research institute for organic farming. For decades, Moyer has helped develop new techniques and invent new tools to support organic methods. Food Tank had the opportunity to talk with Jeff Moyer about organic farming and the future of agriculture.
Cattle rancher Jon Taggart of Grandview, Texas, continued run his business through a drought by planting diverse grasses for his cows. That diversity of grass has kept Taggart’s soil healthy even as Texas faces droughts. The grasses ability to hold on to water when it rains has helped keep his farm healthy.
Species’ lifecycles are slowly growing out of alignment, which can affect the functioning of ecosystems, ultimately impacting human food supply and disease.
Soils are a double-edged climate sword. They are huge reservoirs of organic carbon and can act as a carbon sink. But they can also release CO2 into the atmosphere when used unsustainably.
While the word “organic” has become commonplace in American dialogue, surprisingly, it’s a relatively up-and-coming stamp of approval in Denmark. The city of Copenhagen is suddenly bursting with new organic restaurants, skincare companies, and now, fashion labels. One such brand leading the charge is Blanche, a new line of eco-conscious denim that was launched in August 2017 by fashion natives Mette Fredin and Melissa Bech.
A greater profile for the wide-ranging benefits of regenerative agriculture is what a Stanley woman hopes will flow from her recognition in a national awards program. Jade Miles has been announced as one of three finalists in the Victorian Rural Women’s Award. The award is part of a wider program, with the Victorian winner to be named at Melbourne Museum on March 20 going on to the national award ceremony in Canberra in September.
Food Tank spoke with Lauren Tucker, Executive Director of Kiss the Ground, about the importance of soil health, regenerative farming, and how consumer knowledge of our food system can help solve environmental and human health crises.
Many people do not perceive the value of wilderness areas, even though we receive life-sustaining services from them every day. These services include natural cycles that we take for granted such as climate regulation, water purification and maintaining biodiversity.
Agroforestry could play an important role in mitigating climate change because it sequesters more atmospheric carbon in plant parts and soil than conventional farming, according to Penn State researchers.
Estimates suggest the fashion industry is the fifth-most polluting industry in the world. The newly released report, “A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future,” created by the Circular Fibres Initiative, presents a new model for the clothing industry that would reduce its negative impact.